As Tears Go By
Disclaimer: Highlander and BtVS are not mine. Widen and Whedon are awesome.
A/n: Lots of real life stuff going on. Graduated and looking for a job. So that's taking up a bunch of my time. :-\ sorry...
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by
It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doin' things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by
-"As Tears Go By" by The Rolling Stones
Faith didn't know what to do. She'd been avoiding contacting Giles about Buffy and asking if she was needed in Sunnydale. She knew she needed to go. She knew it was what Buffy wanted. And Faith knew that it was what was right. She was being selfish, but couldn't stop herself. She would wait for the call and wouldn't give up this life until it was absolutely necessary.
A hand waved in front of Faith's face and she blinked dumbly for a second before focusing on its owner.
"Feeling alright?" Joe shifted his weight against his cane and looked at her expectantly from the other side of the bar, "I've been calling you're name for the past minute..."
She gave him a weak smile, "Oh, I'm fine. Really, nothing to worry about."
"Riiight." He took a seat giving her a sympathetic look, "Adam told me about your friend. Did you want to talk about it?"
If only she'd met this man years ago. This is what a father was supposed to be like. Caring, honest, unassuming...
And she wanted to tell him what was bugging her. She wanted to tell Adam too, but she just couldn't bring herself to. They weren't a part of the demon world. Even if they could accept her for what she was, she didn't want to expose them to that world. She didn't want to get them killed. Because that was how it would end. Either she'd die, or she'd have to bare witness to theirs. Just like with her first Watcher. Death hung around her like flies to a rotting corpse.
"No, I'm not big on heart to hearts, Joe." she shook her head, "I'll be okay. Five by five."
"Well, if you change your mind..." Joe smiled, honestly.
"You'll be the first person I talk to." Faith nodded.
"Glad to hear it."
Faith was still a long way off from recovering from the loss of her friend, Methos could see it in the way she held herself and in her eyes when she thought no one was looking.
But despite her pain, their relationship had been budding very successfully. She practically lived at his apartment, now. He grinned, remembering her attempts to cook him breakfast which ending with fire alarms and completely decimated Teflon cookware.
Methos couldn't have imagined his relationship with Faith going much better. They'd been growing closer, and yet, they still kept a great deal from each other. Methos fully intended to keep nearly everything from her about himself. Everything but Adam Pierson. And even that wouldn't ever be in its entirety because he certainly wasn't about to speak of Adam Pierson's time with the Watchers.
But he hoped despite the fact that he'd continue to keep his secrets as close to his chest as possible, maybe he could get Faith to reveal hers. Hey, he never claimed not to be a hypocrite.
She had finally admitted to him earlier today that she was on parole and he did his best to look surprised. But, at the same time he made sure he exuded understanding. Faith hadn't gone into much more detail than that, just that she was working to change. And she wasn't going to let herself be the same person she'd been before. Methos could understand and he didn't need to know the gory details of her rebellious youth, just yet. Patience was something he had a great deals of.
He was helping her by not asking, getting her to do it on her own time, however short that time was. Faith had looked pained even admitting that small bit of the whole puzzle, like she had feared he would run from her the moment she confessed she'd been to prison. It made sense really, any normal man probably would be intimidated that their girlfriend was an ex-con. He smirked, his 'girlfriend', that was the first time he'd actual thought of her like that. He liked it. Faith: his 'girlfriend'
"So, where'd you get the tattoo?" Faith took a sip of her beer from across the booth, "You in a cult or somethin'?"
Adam glanced down at the circular Watcher's tattoo that could be seen on his wrist poking out of his sleeve. He shrugged and a lie effortlessly escaped his lips, "Just something my mates back at University decided to do. Something to remember each other by."
Faith smirked, "A nerd tatt, then. So what is it? Like a Star Wars Rebel symbol? Star Trek Klingon warrior tattoo?"
"Something like that." Adam smirked and made no mention of how 'nerdy' it was of Faith herself that she even knew anything about the Star Wars Rebel Fleet or Klingons. With a raised brow he added, "And I rather think you aren't in any position to be mocking anyone's choices in body art."
She frowned and glanced at her tribal arm tattoo thoughtfully, "What? I like it! It makes me look tough." Faith smirked, "It says: 'Don't mess with me. I'll kick your ass.
"Or it says: 'I have no taste
.'" Methos smirked from over top his beer.
Faith's jaw dropped in mock offense, "You bitch."
Faith tucked an arm around Adam's elbow as they strolled back to his apartment after dark. She just couldn't leave this. Faith had figured telling Adam the truth might force her hand to go back to Sunnydale. If he knew the truth, at least partially, he wouldn't want anything to do with her and she would leave.
But then he'd just shrugged it off, saying that he 'only cared about the person she was now'. Why did he have to say a thing like that? Why couldn't he make it easy? Not that she'd wanted him to recoil in horror at her revelation... of course not, that would have killed her. She was just confused, and conflicted, and--
"You want to pick up some Chinese? There's a really good take out a few blocks from here." Adam pondered as he drew his hand through her hair lovingly.
"Mmm? Yeah, sure... sounds good." She nodded, hoping that he didn't notice how distracted she was.
He led her down a side street, and they walked in amicable silence for several minutes. The dead silence around them made Faith uncomfortable, like something was about to--
Adam tensed next to her and that was when Faith noticed three men step out of the shadows. They weren't vampires or demons, but they sure didn't look like they were about to ask for directions or tell them about 'the good word'. Faith's stomach clenched in a panic, and Adam placed himself protectively in front of her. She would have rolled her eyes at the show of chivalry at any other time, but at the moment her attentions were elsewhere.
One of the men stepped in front of the other two. His face was plastered with a smug look that made Faith want to tear it off with her bare hands.
"You destroyed the Watcher's Council, you wretch. And now you will pay for it." the man intoned, his English accent apparent.
Faith stomach dropped. Oh, God. No.
Methos felt Faith take in a breath of fear at the three. He had to get her out of here. Why were the Watcher's coming after him now? It had been more than a year since it was revealed that mild mannered Watcher Adam Pierson wasn't who he appeared to be. Why now? Why in front of Faith? He had to protect her--
"No..." Faith let out the desperate whimper from next to him and he felt her hand tighten painfully around his elbow.
His eyes widened in surprise. Did she know these men? Was she a Watcher? Was it all a trick? His jaw clenched. She wasn't, no. He would have noticed. As they say, you can't bullshit a bullshitter.
The men came closer and Methos held his ground, "Look, I don't know what it is you men want. But I suggest you leave."
"This is no concern of yours, sir. I suggest you leave
." The man responded coolly.
"I'm not going anywhere." Methos growled.
"We have no qualms about killing you. In fact, anyone who befriends this stupid bitch deserves what they get." He spat as the two other men started to pull handguns out of their jackets.
"Leave him alone." Faith's voice dripped with wrath. Methos felt himself violently pulled backward and he fell to the pavement with a thud. He looked up to find Faith glancing back at him her eyes full of unsaid apologies. But, for what? Why did the Watchers want her? And how had she overpowered him so easily? The answer was at the tip of his tongue, but he found himself unable to think straight enough to determine the answer.
The leader of the group pulled out his own weapon, but in a flash Faith was on him. Her fist flew toward the man's jaw and he could hear bones shatter. Her other arm knocked the gun from his hands. She was so fast, like...like...
"You're dead, Slayer!" one of the other men shouted.Oh.
Well, that certainly explained some things.
Suddenly, he was brought out of his stupor when he saw one of the other men lining up a shot at Faith's back. He got to his feet. He wouldn't make it to the man in time to stop him. Split second decisions were never the smartest. He leapt between Faith and the Watcher as the gun went off.
Faith spun around in shock. Gunshot. Adam on the ground clutching his chest."No!!!"
Her sight went red and her mind shut off.
She left the first Watcher, who was now beaten and unconscious on the pavement and dove at the shooter in a blind rage. The man howled in pain as her hand gripped over his gun shattered the hand holding it. The third Watcher, whom Faith had forgotten in her fury had clearly been the coward of the group and fled as soon as the shot rang out and Faith started wailing on the other Watcher.
Her fists crashed into the man's face and the tears poured down her face. The man was still alive when she finally stopped, but only just barely. The only thing that stopped her barrage of fists was the sound from behind her.
Coming back to herself, Faith turned to see Adam bleeding out on the ground. Faith fell to her knees at his side. The bullet had clearly punctured a lung. Her hands tried unsuccessfully to halt the flow of blood coming out of the gaping wound on his chest. Tears drenched her face.
His eyes were distant, but he managed to look in her direction. His hand reached up to her cheek and he tried to speak, but the words were cut off when he started to cough up blood. His eyes seemed to be trying to convey something. Assurance, maybe. For what, she didn't know.
He started to cough violently spattering blood into her face, but Faith didn't care.
"Adam... j-just, hold on. I'll get you to a hospital and you'll be fine. You'll be alright...." she didn't know who she was trying to convince, Adam or herself.
His hand fell from her face, limply to his side. His eyes continued to bore into her. There was that look again. It should have been accusation, not this attempt to make her feel better.
Adam's eyes dulled and Faith breath caught in sob.
"Adam?" She shook him gently denying the obvious truth, "Adam, no... please!"
She didn't even get time to mourn. Faith could hear sirens and shouting just around the corner, and so she ran. Ran not just because she didn't want the cops to know she'd been there, but because she didn't want to face that body on the ground or the near dead Watchers next to it. Because then maybe she'd have to admit what had really just happened.
So she ran like she always did. Like when her first Watcher died, when she'd killed the Deputy Mayor, when Buffy bested her, and hell even back when her mom got drunk and used to beat her. Faith ran to escape the pain of it, and she didn't look back.
But if she had, just for a moment, she might have seen that Adam wasn't quite as dead as he seemed.
*ducks*... don't hurt me! ;)